After many decades, there still seems to be some controversy in the horticulture world as to whether permaculture design works, despite many thriving and successful examples of working permaculture demonstration sites worldwide.
For my amusement, I decided to ask the AI (artificial intelligence) program ChatGTP the question, to see what it thought. The reply was rather interesting to say the least!
My question: Does permaculture work?
ChatGPT: Yes, permaculture is a holistic and sustainable approach to designing and managing systems that can work effectively. Permaculture, which stands for “permanent agriculture” or “permanent culture,” aims to create regenerative and self-sustaining ecosystems that are resilient and productive. It draws inspiration from natural patterns and principles to develop integrated and harmonious systems of agriculture, architecture, ecological design, and community development.
Permaculture principles emphasize the importance of observing and understanding natural systems, utilizing resources efficiently, promoting biodiversity, and fostering beneficial relationships between different elements within a system. By mimicking nature’s patterns and functions, permaculture seeks to minimize waste, conserve energy, and promote ecological balance.
Permaculture has been successfully applied in various contexts around the world, including small-scale backyard gardens, urban farms, community projects, and larger agricultural systems. It can provide numerous benefits, such as increased food production, improved soil health, enhanced biodiversity, water conservation, and reduced reliance on external inputs like pesticides and fertilizers.
However, the success of permaculture practices depends on factors such as climate, soil conditions, available resources, management practices, and the knowledge and skills of the practitioners. It is important to adapt permaculture principles and techniques to the specific local conditions and cultural context for optimal results.
Overall, permaculture offers a promising framework for sustainable land use and human settlement design, and many practitioners have found it to be a successful approach to achieving ecological and social resilience.
That’s the reply from ChatGTP, so rest assured that when AI takes over the world, our new artificial lifeform overlords will be permaculture-friendly! (Yes, I’m joking!)
I’m actually glad that the AI system highlights the fact that successful permaculture design depends on “the knowledge and skills of the practitioners”, because permaculture is knowledge an imagination intensive, rather than energy and resource intensive, and there’s a fair bit of bad permaculture design out there, much like the loads of bad horticulture design out there.
The difference with the bad ornamental garden design is that we don’t get to see the failures, and neither do the people who created the bad designs (which means they don’t learn from their mistakes), because maintenance gardeners are employed to constantly replace the dying plants and spray the living daylights out the pests attacking the rest, in order to keep everything looking pretty, but that’s another story… 🌱